How Buyers Search For Homes
Home buyers have a variety of information sources available to them in their home search. Eighty-five % reported that they used a real estate agent as a source of information, with little difference in usage between first-time and repeat buyers. The Internet was used by 80 % of home buyers to find information about specific properties or to find information about a community. First-time buyers tend to use the Internet somewhat more frequently than repeat buyers. Yard signs were used by nearly two-thirds of buyers at some point in their search. Just over half of buyers used print newspaper ads.
INFORMATION SOURCES USED IN HOME SEARCH BY FIRST-TIME AND REPEAT BUYERS
Real Estate Agent 85%
Yard Signature Properties 63%
Print Newspaper Advertisement 55%
Open House 47%
Home Book or Magazine 34%
Home Builder 26%
Relocation Company 5%
Frequency of Internet Usage
Some home buyers use the Internet as a resource more frequently than others. Overall, 59% of home buyers noted that they used the Internet frequently while an additional 21% reported that they used it occasionally.
Buyers in the Northeast and Midwest used the Internet more intensively than buyers in other regions. In contrast, buyers in the South and West used the Internet less intensively, although the share who used the Internet at all was consistent with other regions.
USE OF INTERNET TO SEARCH FOR HOMES
Not at all 20%
ACTIONS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF INTERNET HOME SEARCH
Drove by or viewed a home 74%
Walked through a home viewed 61%
Found the agent used to search 23%
for or buy a home
Requested more information 22%
Contacted builder or developer 11%
Pre-qualified for a mortgage online 7%
Applied for a mortgage online 5%
Found a mortgage lender online 4%
After gathering information online, three-quarters of home buyers reported that they drove by specific properties, while 61% walked through a property viewed online. Just over one if five found a real estate agent or requested more information about a property. First-time buyers more often requested additional information about a home viewed online.
*Source of percentage figures: National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers